After a wait of nearly two years, a JW Marriott hotel in the Aerocity hospitality district located next to the Delhi airport may become the first in the area to begin commercial operations.
The quality of the bulletproof glass used at the hotel was approved by a team from the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The tests to check the resistance of the glass were conducted at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh.
Security agencies have asked other hotels in the area to use glass of similar standards to fortify their premises.
The Aerocity project had run into trouble after security agencies pointed out that terrorists could target the airport due to its proximity to the business district.
Hotels in the area had been ready to open for nearly two years, but were awaiting clearance from the agencies who wanted elaborate security arrangements in place such as strict access control, bullet-proof glass and vetting of all employees.
“Bullets were fired from 7.62 mm pistols and AK 47 from different ranges on the glass. Though the bullets managed to make holes in the glass, they lost speed.
A dummy aircraft was kept 10 metres away from the glass and bullets barely managed to reach it,” said a senior official, who was part of the committee to check the security standards adopted by the hotels.
A JW Marriott spokesperson said they were waiting for an official communication from authorities.
Sources in the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) said three hotels had submitted their security plans and installed bulletproof glass in rooms facing the airport runway.
Other hotels have been asked to submit samples of the glass used for testing.
“The hotel chain had been at t a cke d by terrorists in Pakistan. Since then, all JW Marriott properties have beefed up security. Each of them has a seven-layer security,” the official said.
It is mandatory for the hotels to have biometric systems for strict access control to the buildings close to the runway.
A committee comprising members of the Delhi Police, Airports Authority of India, ministry of civil aviation, Central Industrial Security Force and the BCAS will decide whether the security is good enough to allow them to operate.